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  • Writer's pictureBigfoot Hospitality

The Hotel Star Rating System - Detailed Guide

In this blog, we will understand the star rating system for hotels, resorts and various other properties.
A Detailed Guide To Hotel Star Rating System

As they say, we have to shoot for the stars! It is especially true in the hospitality industry, For guests, choosing a hotel is a task. There are so many properties, with different types, budgets, amenities, and more. Hence, it becomes important to classify them so that the customers know what are they exactly going to get for their money. One such type of classification is the hotel star rating system.

The hotel star rating system is quite common. In fact, even those who don’t work in the hotel industry have a basic understanding of it. When you tell them, “I stayed in a budget 3-star hotel”, they will instantly visualize all the amenities of that type of hotel. Not only that, they will surely know that a 3-star hotel is different from a 4-star hotel.

However, since we are in the hospitality industry, we have to understand this topic in detail and have a command on the understanding of all the hotel star ratings.

Hotel Star Rating System: An Introduction

Simply put, the hotel star rating system is the classification of hotels and resorts based on luxury, comfort, amenities and most importantly cost. When you market yourself as a hotel with a particular star rating, you need to provide the amenities as well.

For example, if a hotelier tries to sell his or her 4-star hotel as a 5-star one (including the charges), a negative review is guaranteed. Each country has a tourist board that evaluates hotels based on different criteria and gives star ratings accordingly. Here are the categories under the hotel star rating system that are accepted worldwide:

  • 1-Star Hotels

  • 2-Star Hotels

  • 3-Star Hotels

  • 4-Star Hotels

  • 5-Star Hotels

  • 5+ - Star Hotels

Let us understand each of these hotel star ratings. As a hotelier, you need to evaluate your hotel based on the characteristics of each category. Then you have to determine under which category the hotel belongs.

How Are Hotel Star Ratings Determined

Each tourism board in a country has their own rating system. These star rating systems are determined by the rating agency. For example in India, Hotel Restaurant Approval And Classification Committee) is responsible for grading hotels. The properties need to apply to the rating agency to get the auditing of their property done.

After registering, the concerned people from the agency visit the property and stay for a few days. They have a checklist based on which they audit the property. Based on the audit, the hotels are then classified from 1-star to 5-star.

Hotel Star Rating System Classification

Now that we have discussed the background, let us now get to the main show - the classification of hotels based on their star ratings. As we all know, they are classified based on certain amenities, level of luxury and pricing. Let us now discuss each categorization one by one.

Even though each Hotel Rating Agency has different criteria, each of them follows similar guidelines regarding hotel star ratings.

1-Star Hotel

They are the lowest ratings for hotels. The aim of these hotels is to provide a comfortable bed to sleep in, and that’s mostly it. They may or may not have a private bathroom. 1-star hotels will most probably not have a restaurant or any other amenity.

These are budget hotels and are mostly for guests who are just looking for a room to crash in and sleep in. The front desk facility of the hotel is basic as well. It is the most basic offering in the hotel star rating system.

2 - Star Hotels

2-star hotels are considered to be slightly higher than budget hotels. They have amenities such as a bed, and bathroom and can also include a television. On-site dining, may or may not be available. The front desk is most equipped as well. Some additional services can be available as well, mostly on a chargeable basis.

3 - Star Hotels

In the hotel star rating system, it is from this point where a high level of comfort is expected, along with a little luxury. These hotels are high-quality hotels with various amenities such as spacious rooms, pools, restaurants, an on-site gym and more.

It is the gateway from the budget category to the luxury category. It is perfect for guests who want a sophisticated hotel experience on a budget. These types of hotels will feature a bar as well. Hotels will also concentrate more on designs and ambience. They will provide a breakfast option for sure. In-Room dining services begin from this star category.

4 - Star Hotels

It is from this stage that the emphasis on luxury truly begins. 4-Star Hotels are among the top categories in the star rating system. They will provide luxurious rooms, spacious bathrooms, amazing food options, and loads of amenities. Pools, on-site gyms, saunas, saloons etc will be of exceptional quality.

For the hotel star ratings below 4, the guest experience is a great add-on. In this category, it is expected.

5 - Star Hotels

They are considered to be the most luxurious offerings in the hotel star rating system. These hotels are expected to provide the best guest experience. There is no room for slack, and incompetence in anything will surely give you the harshest feedback. The rooms are luxurious, and the bathrooms are no less.

World-class restaurants, a breathtaking swimming pool, lovely saunas, etc are some of the amenities provided by 5-star hotels. They charge a premium as well, so hotels in this category have no choice but to provide a top-notch guest experience.

5+ - Star Hotels

Think 5-Star hotels but even grander. They are not an official category. However, since these properties exceed even five-star hotels in luxury and guest experience, it is only fair to give them a category of their own.

Exquisite restaurants (yes restaurants, with the s at the end), glamorous swimming pools, saunas and jacuzzi - you name it, and these hotels will serve them to you on a golden platter. Some hotels classify themselves as 7 - star hotels, but it is not a real category.

How To Increase Your Hotel Star Rating?

Till now, you have read about the hotel star rating system, the way it is done and the classification of hotels based on the same. However, another question arises - “Can a hotelier increase the star rating of his or her property?”

The answer is - Yes! Of course, you can. There are a few things you need to do to get a higher star rating and increase your property’s prestige in the hospitality industry.

Understand The Criteria

Contact the rating agency and understand what you need to do to gain a higher rating for your hotel. From there, you can work accordingly.

Add And Improve Your Hotel Amenities

The more amenities you have, the higher you will reach on the hotel star rating classification. Identify which amenities are in demand. Based on your budget, you can choose which ones to add.

Focus On Cleanliness And Experience

Hotels are not only about amenities and rooms. Cleanliness and guest experience are among the major factors that determine guest ratings and star ratings. You need to also provide better customer service and amenities.

With this guide, we hope that you have understood everything about the hotel star rating system and how to go increase your ratings. Read our blogs to know more about the hospitality industry.


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